Thursday, December 29, 2016
Fox Mid-Season Pilot Review: The Mick - Premieres Sunday (Jan. 1); WLNY Presents The Odd Couple on New Year's Day
The Mick - Tuesdays at 8:30PM ET/PT on Fox
Special Premiere Sunday, January 1, 2017 at 8:00PM ET/5:00PM PT
Mackenzie, aka Mickey, is an unapologetic degenerate who suddenly finds herself stuck in affluent Greenwich, CT, raising her spoiled niece and nephews: Sabrina an ambitious, 18-going-on-30-year-old who is a worthy adversary to Mickey; Chip, 13, an arrogant, entitled neo-con-in-the-making with an extremely punchable face; and Ben, an adorably fragile nerd. It's pretty much everything Mickey has never wanted. Regardless, she's determined to rise to the occasion and transform these little monsters into honest, hard-working, decent members of society - something she knows absolutely nothing about.
Kaitlin Olson as Mackenzie Murphy
Sofia Black D'Ella as Sabrina Pemberton
Thomas Barbusca as Chip Pemberton
Jack Stanton as Ben Pemberton
Carla Jimenez as Alba
Susan Park as Liz
Kaitlin Olson (Mackenzie) is an actress best known for her role as Dee Reynolds on the long-running hit sitcom It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. She is also known for her role as Destiny in Finding Dory.
Sofia Black D'Elia (Sabrina) is an actress previously known for her role in shows such as Gossip Girl, The Messengers and The Night Of.
Thomas Barbusca (Chip) is a young actor known for his guest spots on shows such as American Horror Story, The League, and Another Period. He will also appear in the upcoming Netflix reboot of One Day at a Time.
Jack Stanton (Ben) is a young actor. The Mick will be his first role in television/film.
Carla Jimenez (Alba) is an actress known for her recurring roles on Raising Hope and Last Man Standing, and for her guest spots on shows such as Community, The Mindy Project, and 2 Broke Girls.
Susan Park (Liz) is an actress best known for her role as Christine on HBO's Vice Principals. She has also appeared in recurring roles on shows such as Fresh Off the Boat, Fargo, and Life in Pieces.
"Pilot" (Airs Sunday, January 1 at 8:00PM)
An unapologetic degenerate moves to affluent Greenwich, CT, to raise the outrageously spoiled kids of her wealthy sister and brother-in-law, who have fled the country to avoid prosecution for illegal activities in the all-new "Pilot" special premiere episode.
"The Grandparents" (Airs Tuesday, January 3 at 8:30PM)
The Pemberton kids learn some lessons in "tough love," when Mickey (Kaitlin Olson) calls in their overly strict grandmother (guest star Concetta Tomei) to discipline them. Meanwhile, Mickey reunites with Jimmy (Scott MacArthur) and brings Alba (Carla Jimenez) the ride.
For nearly 12 years, Kaitlin Olson has quietly been knocking it out of the park on It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, the funniest member of one of TV's funniest ensembles. The Mick feels like a very deliberate attempt to take her talents and deliver them to a broader audience in slightly more accessible fashion – and it does a pretty good job of it, as Olson carries most of the show in the four episodes I've watched so far. It's very easy to see The Mick being completely insufferable, given the amount of clichés at work here, from "total mess who winds up having a heart of gold" to "spoiled rich kids learn that money isn't everything." Luckily, the show manages to avoid these pratfalls, mostly thanks to Olson's comic talents, but there are enough well-crafted punchlines and cleverly subverted expectations in these first handful of episodes that I'm willing to have some faith there's more here beyond just a really solid lead performance. The kids are surprisingly well-developed by the end of the fourth episode, managing to go slightly beyond their textbook stereotypes and feel a little more like actual human beings than you might expect from spoiled rich kids in a sitcom. And the show seems to acknowledge that its premise is a little rote, given how many times a potential "teachable moment" is quickly and hilariously botched and ridiculed.
Still, the potential for irritation isn't completely absent from The Mick – there are several moments that feel like they're trying a bit too hard to be "network TV edgy," such as an unnecessary plot where Mickey drugs Alba (the family's housekeeper) that doesn't really add anything to the show other than "hey, we're doing this kind of stuff, isn't that cool?!" There are also a handful of moments where Mickey's neglect of the children she's been tasked with caring cross the line into genuinely disturbing, which would be fine if The Mick was able to go as dark with its humor as Olson's other series, but its status as a network sitcom revolving around family will likely keep it from going there. The Mick is eventually going to have to sort out exactly what kind of comedy it wants to be, but for now there's enough promise here that I'm willing to stick around for Olson's performance and some solid, well-earned laughs while the rest of the show works itself out.
The Mick has an incredibly strong lead performance, surprisingly well-developed characters, and some genuinely hilarious jokes and comic set-ups that help it navigate some tonal wonkiness and overly-hasty plotting. The show has some annoying tendencies and sometimes falls into the pattern of "edginess for the sake of edginess," but there is enough to like here that it's worth tuning into, and hopefully it can be given enough time to sort itself out and be the truly great starring vehicle for Kaitlin Olson that it has the potential to be.
Final Numbers (out of 5 stars):
Discuss the show after you watch it on Sunday, January 1, 2017 at 8:00PM ET/5:00PM PT on our message board.
One of the most beloved comedies in television history will light up the airwaves at the stroke of midnight on New Year's Day, Sunday, January 1 in New York City, when WLNY-TV (Channels 10/55) presents The Odd Couple marathon from 12 a.m. to 9 a.m. and from 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m (the only break is at 9am for a half-hour for Sunday Mass). The marathon will include 41 episodes from the classic series, culminating with the 1973 "My Strife in Court" episode, featuring Felix attempting to act as his own attorney in court (8:00 p.m.) and the 1975 "Felix Remarries" episode when Felix convinces his ex-wife to remarry him (8:30 p.m.). WLNY's The Odd Couple marathon will also feature the 1973 "The Ides of April" episode where Felix inadvertently gets Oscar called in for an audit from the IRS (3:00 p.m.), 1973's "Let's Make a Deal" episode, where Felix and Oscar appear on a game show in an attempt to win Felix a new bed (5:00 p.m.) and the 1973 "Take My Furniture Please" episode where both Felix and Oscar take turns redecorating their apartment (6:00 p.m.).
New on DVD/Blu-ray (December/January)
12/06 - Family Guy - Season Fourteen
12/13 - American Dad! - Volume 11
12/13 - Newhart - The Complete Seventh Season
01/03 - Girls - The Complete Fifth Season (Blu-ray)
01/10 - Broad City - Season 3
01/17 - I Love Lucy - Superstar Special #2 (Colorized)
01/17 - The Love Boat - Season Three - Volume One
01/17 - The Love Boat - Season Three - Volume Two
01/24 - Hooperman - Season One
01/24 - Hooperman - Season Two
01/31 - Ballers - The Complete Second Season (Blu-ray)
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest
Sitcoms Airing Tonight
Tuesday, January 17
The Middle - "Pitch Imperfect" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Axl begins to panic when he realizes that he only has four months of college left before he graduates, and he hasn’t sent out any job resumes – something he should have started when he was a junior. Meanwhile, Brad agrees to lead Sue’s no-cut a cappella group as they enter a music competition, and Brick desperately asks for Frankie and Mike’s advice when girlfriend Cindy tells him that he reads too much, and if he doesn’t stop, she’ll break up with him.
American Housewife - "Surprise" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Oliver tells his parents that he’s so embarrassed by their modest house that he’d rather not have a birthday party at all. Katie decides to teach him a lesson by ambushing him with a surprise party at home with all his wealthy friends.
Fresh Off the Boat - "The Best of Orlando" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
When Louis is named “Small Businessman of the Year,” Jessica is overflowing with pride and invites everyone they know to join them at the awards ceremony. But when Louis forgets to thank Jessica during his acceptance speech, he suffers the repercussions at home. Meanwhile, Eddie, Emery and Grandma start their own clothing line and quickly discover the challenges of running their own small business.
The Real O'Neals - "The Real Acceptance" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
After Kenny and Brett officially become a couple, Kenny starts to think of plan on how he should break the news to his parents. Meanwhile, Jimmy surprises everyone when he scores a high SAT score, forcing Eileen to hold up her end of a deal that she had previously made and takes Jimmy car shopping.
New Girl - "Cece's Boys" (Fox, 8:00PM ET/PT)
As Jess tries to find a new vice principal, she discovers that she has a real problem when it comes to making decisions. Meanwhile, Cece enlists Jess and Reagan to help her recruit new models, and the guys are in for a surprise when they enjoy a day at the spa.
The Mick - "The Fire" (Fox, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Mickey tries to quit smoking. Meanwhile, Ben meets a new friend.
Teachers - "First Day Back" (TV Land, 10:00PM ET/PT)
As the teachers return from summer break, Ms. Watson tries an ultra premium online dating service and Ms. Snap learns that she’s been given the worst group of kids in school. Mrs. Adler is assigned to a mobile classroom.
Tuesday, January 17
- Katy Mixon (American Housewife/Mike & Molly) - Catch Katy on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
- Michael Keaton (Working Stiffs/All's Fair) - Michael appears on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
- Billy Eichner (Difficult People) - Billy is a guest on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
- Tracee Ellis Ross (black-ish/Girlfriends) - Tracee visits Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
- Patrick Warburton (Crowded/Rules of Engagement/Less Than Perfect) - Patrick stops by Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC. He will also be on PIX11 Morning News on WPIX in New York.
- Anders Holm (Workaholics) - Anders is a guest on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
- Rory Scovel (Ground Floor) - Rory appears on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
- Kathy Griffin (Suddenly Susan) - Kathy is a guest on Conan at 11pm on TBS.
- Christian Slater (Breaking In) - Christian guest co-hosts LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
- Louie Anderson (Baskets/Life with Louie/The Louie Show) - Louie drops by LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
- Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother/Stark Raving Mad/Doogie Howser, M.D.) - Neil joins the Chew Crew on ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT.
- Yvette Nicole Brown (The Odd Couple/Community) - Yvette joins the Chew Crew on ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT.
- Andrew Dice Clay (Bless This House/Hitz) - Andrew is a guest on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET.
- Kym Whitley (Young & Hungry/Animal Practice/Sparks) - Kym visits Cleveland on Steve Harvey, so check your local listings.